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What Does My Ford VIN Mean? Build Sheet Explained

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Getting all the available information about your vehicle after ordering, and even after delivery, can come in handy for a number of reasons. If you need help understanding how a Ford's VIN relates to the build sheet, we can help. We researched this topic so that you'll know how to decode it.

The VIN is the vehicle identification number. This number can be used to access the build sheet, which contains information on where the car was manufactured, what the brand and body type is, and other important information.

Now we'll take a closer look at the build sheet itself. You might also be wondering what Ford Blend Date means, or where the new Ford Broncos are being built. Read ahead in this post and you'll get the answers to these questions and more.

A white Ford F-250 parked outside a Ford dealership, What Does My Ford VIN Mean? Build Sheet Explained

The breakdown of the Ford build sheet

The Ford VIN is a 17-digit code that can be found in various places. There is a VIN stamped on the engine block, one on the dash of the vehicle, and one on the inside driver's side door. There is also one in the various paperwork the dealership gives you.

A huge Ford sign for a Ford Dealership building

This character, when broken down, can tell you a lot of handy information. There are in fact seven things you can find out from your build sheet just by looking at the VIN.

Where the vehicle was built

The first character on the far left will indicate where the vehicle was manufactured. It can be a letter or a number, and can be deciphered this way:

  • A-H means Africa
  • J-R means Asia
  • S-Z means Europe
  • 1-5 means North America
  • 6-7 means New Zealand or Australia
  • 8-9 means South America

Who manufactured the vehicle?

The second and third digits show who manufactured your car or truck. The second character will be a code for the automaker (Ford, Chevy, etc), and the third character is what division within the manufacturer made the car.

Vehicle brand, engine size, and body type

The next five characters further give descriptive information about the vehicle.

Knowing the proper codes will tell you all about its engine, body style, and the brand of vehicle. Each manufacturer has its own codes for this, so they will vary from one to another. 

VIN check digit

The ninth character is what is known as a check digit.

This is run against the other characters to prove that the VIN is authentic. Having a check digit helps minimize fraud in the industry and also serves as a safeguard against chop shops.

Vehicle model year

The tenth digit represents the model year of the vehicle.

Plant of assembly

The eleventh digit will tell what assembly plant the vehicle was put together in.

Vehicle's serial number

The remaining characters are unique to the vehicle and serve as its serial number.

What does Ford Blend Date mean?

If you've heard the term "blend date" and are confused by its meaning, you're not alone. There are a variety of dates and numbers associated with the VIN and the window stickers on any given vehicle, each with its own independent meaning.

The Blend Date is located at the top of the window sticker of your vehicle. This is the date that the manufacturing of the vehicle has begun.

If you are using the VIN to track the production of a new vehicle you just ordered, this can be used to get the window sticker itself. Later in this post, we'll discuss the most relevant information on this sticker.

If you are accessing the window sticker prior to the completed production of your vehicle, know that the Blend Date is the projected start date.

While auto assembly plants are usually close to the beginning by this date, delays can happen. But you can continue to use your VIN to track the production of any vehicle that you ordered.

How do you read a window sticker?

Just like the VIN has important information on it, you can also get great details from the window sticker. Studying this piece of paper that is affixed to vehicles on the car lot will tell you much of what you need to know about the car before purchasing it.

The window sticker will give the make, model, and year of the vehicle. It will also list all pertinent engine and transmission specs. You'll know by reading this what speed the transmission is as well as the engine's size and horsepower just by looking over this sticker.

The standard equipment on board the vehicle will also be on the window sticker. You can also see the fuel economy, warranty information, and crash test ratings here.

What does MSRP mean for automobiles?

Another piece of information on the window sticker is the vehicle's MSRP. This is an abbreviated way to write out Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price. 

This is the price that automakers suggest that dealerships sell their cars for. This price is oftentimes higher than the invoice price of the vehicle.

MSRP letter stacked on top of coins on a white background

An invoice price will have various discounts, rebates, and other deductions taken from it. The invoice price can also sometimes be higher, should you add any warranties, upgrades, or other stand-alone options to the vehicle.

Where is the Ford Bronco being built?

The Ford Bronco came back in 2021 in a big way. The auto manufacturer invested $750 million in upgrading one of their plants so that they could mass produce this popular vehicle once more.

A Ford Bronco on the parking lot

The 4x4 SUV began rolling off the assembly line at Ford's Wayne, Michigan location. Before production, several hundred thousand of the new Ford Broncos had been ordered by consumers in the United States and Canada.

This Ford vehicle continues to be one of the more popular models from the automaker, with waiting lists seeming to grow longer by the week to get a new one.

Is Ford back to full production?

The Covid-19 global pandemic certainly halted the production of many items we take for granted, and the automotive industry wasn't untouched by it.

A blue Ford Fiesta at a parking lot

In March of 2020, many automakers, including Ford, slowed down or halted production as demand for new vehicles dropped. 

Ford resumed full production by the summer of 2020, though supply chain issues with smart chips made it difficult to fill orders in a timely fashion. 

Ford has had to slow production off and on since then, however, as supply chain issues continue to plague the automotive industry.

A huge white Ford Transit moving on the highway

As recently as April of 2022, Ford and GM were forced to slow production yet again. A lack of semi-conductor chips has once more made assembly lines slow their progress. 

Final thoughts

A white Ford F-250 parked outside a Ford dealership

Every vehicle has a VIN, which provides a lot of useful information after you know how to decipher all 17 of the characters.

A window sticker will also give you great details about the vehicle you are interested in, including the engine and transmission specs, fuel economy, and crash test ratings.

Having these bits of information make your decision a bit easier and can also help you determine whether or not your vehicle has ever had wreck damage, should you be considering a used one. Drive safe!

If you enjoyed reading this post on Ford vehicles, we think you'll find the following posts on this automaker helpful:

Chevy Silverado High Country Vs. Ford King Ranch – Which Is Right For You?

How Long Does It Take For A Car To Be Delivered To The Dealership

When Is the Best Time to Buy a Pickup Truck?